When all that’s left in me is gratitude, I permit myself some moments to reflect upon the good things that My Rogue and I have enjoyed these past several months.
Of course, my perfectionist tendencies still argue within me; especially these days, when writer’s block, senior moments, and other “cutesy excuses” cover my day’s production or lack thereof…I remind myself that my purposeful attempts to achieve a good day’s work and a job well done have to go. I am still too hard on myself; not yet ready to chuck my personal standard of “best”. I can pretend it doesn’t matter, but it does. I am no different than others my age; I am fearful during these economic times.
Perfection’s attraction is slowly eluding me; I’m slightly overwhelmed at times (no more, no less, than in the past) but when the light finally turns on, I realize that truly the small stuff doesn’t matter. For example, the house will always collect dust, and we live in our house, so dust and clutter are a part of it. An old acquaintance of mine used to give her kids permission to write on the dusty surfaces of the home’s furniture. The only caveat: they were not to date any of their scribbling!
So, I have long assured myself that the same tasks will be there tomorrow; and when I hear life calling me, I absolutely MUST join in the joyful clatter! There are sounds outside my window; souls of all ages, waving “I’m home” and looking forward to sharing some momentary chatter with other adults before sealing themselves inside to parent the little critters. Cars arriving home after the work day will usually stop short and check the mail; the children can’t wait to spill out of the car seats and regale us with their days’ news. This is LIFE. We are in the midst of a neighborhood, not a senior development. Neither My Rogue nor I want to exist apart from little critters and the stories they share. So, before me is once again a neighborhood teaming with the routine but very precious moments that I recognize from years before; only this time around, I am an adult “grandma type” so there is a freedom from the moment to moment responsibility…I can just watch the familiar scenes and smile.
Cautionary words – Don’t get hurt! Be careful! The sounds of loved ones from my own childhood days resonate and come to mind. But I bite my tongue. I don’t want to instill anything but confidence in these little critters…I am careful to laugh when they are not within ear shot. Children are too precious a commodity to have some ignoramus neighbor offer any comment without respectful consideration; absolutely no way do I intend to purposely chisel away even a modicum of their confidence.
Perhaps my having left the rat race this past year has given me a fresh perspective in addition to a much needed rest. Each morning’s daybreak is once again a time to begin; it’s truly another day in America. I can choose to wallow in past defeat or expectantly score another win! Busier souls than I have passed the new bloom in my yard; so, I breathe in summer’s last rose on their behalf.
I will permit myself a brief enjoyment of its scent before falling back into old habits, racing down the drive to another appointment – another “I’m keeping busy” moment – that serves to numb me from the underlying truths of this economy: I am over-qualified. I am over fifty. I have a medical history that has been reviewed and used against me; thus far, I have been turned down several times by the same company that once paid for my doctors’ care. In this current job market, I fall outside the perimeters of the “hot minority”…it’s now my turn to be discriminated against by lesser students flaunting the badges of supervisory positions. I’ve faked it from the seat of my pants before; when corporate courtesies demand yet another brave, quixotic stance, I convince myself I will once again deliver.
I finger the small piece of paper in my wallet. I folded it carefully and marked it Gratitude before tucking it inside the coin pocket. I even dated it. When opened, the paper is a simple shopping list of grocery items. My Rogue scrawled the list in his bold, confident print. Any reader can tell a few letters are actually missing from some of the names on that list. But he could read it and he returned home with every item I asked for. This was noteworthy, especially so for a man who had suffered a stroke the previous year.
As with perfection, I must toss aside the recurring fears and convince myself that they no longer serve any purpose. We are both on the mend and, pending our permission, gratitude will easily fill in any blanks…